China General Nuclear said that it has begun to load fuel into the reactor core at the Taishan nuclear power plant, which keeps the first unit at the new plant on track to become the first operating European Pressurized Reactor which the company expects will occur later this year.
A license for operations was issued earlier this week in Beijing, the World Nuclear Association reported. In conjunction with that, the National Nuclear Safety Administration said that construction and design specifications for the EPR unit meet their safety and security standards.
NNSA staff were on site through the entire duration of construction, the agency said.
Several other EPR reactors are nearing construction completion or are being readied for fuel loading. The EPR in Finland at the Olkiluoto power plant is expected to have fuel loaded in December with the commencement of commercial operations in May of 2019. The EPR unit under construction in Flamanville, France, is also expected to have fuel loaded into the core by the end of the year.
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